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Player-Created Faction Guide

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Vokan:
Unofficial Player-Created Factions

The purpose of this thread is to bring to the front Player-created Factions, and to show new and old players a greater breadth of choice they have for character concepts outside of the official faction list.
The main difference between a Supported Official Faction and a Player Faction is DM and Development Team support. While the Supported Factions are very well fleshed-out and excellent, sometimes one cannot find exactly what they want to roleplay within that list. That is where Player Factions come in.

What is a Player Faction?
A "Player Faction" is an unofficial player-formed group that adheres to a certain In-Character goal or ideal. The types of which are many and far-reaching - a group of bandits, a dwarf clan, a druidic circle - the possibilities are endless. It is the spirit of working together towards an In-Character cause or ideal, and entering into the vibrant and immersive dynamics of the server. While many outlanders make friends and enemies while traveling alone, joining a player faction brings even further dynamic possibilities.

How do I join a Player faction?
This will vary from faction to faction, just as the supported faction recruitment happens. Some are secretive, others are very visible. You could make a fresh new character designed to join the faction, or have one you already play find an interest in them. Sometimes it can be difficult to find who leads a faction - but a quick OOC tell/PM to one of the members can be useful to arrange an IC encounter.

What is expected of me when joining a faction?
Again, this varies from faction to faction. However, it is best to join a player-faction with a very active character. Some like to make a new character spontaneously, but once the luster wares off, return to their 'main character.' This usually hurts factions more than it helps them, most factions put a lot of time and resources into helping their members, so playing with an active character is the most ideal choice. After all, the more you put into your character, the more you will get out of it!

Are all Player-created factions true to Ravenloft canon?
Yes and no. The nature of Ravenloft, and the Core as a whole, is that characters arrive from all realms. Thus, a player-faction group of druids from Faerun, for example, would be "canon," but not 'native' to the Core. Many of the most prominent religions and kingdoms in the lands of the Core arrived from different realms, the Lawgiver Cult and the cult of Belenus being strong examples. And while the Morninglord cult found its roots within the core, its strong similarity with the cult of Lathander hint at its possible lost history. That being said, unlike many of the Supported Factions, most player-factions are not found within the sourcebooks of Ravenloft canon. This does not make them illegitimate, however, they are simply dynamic expansions to our ever-growing world.

What Player-Created factions are active?

* The Black Hand
* The Vigil
* The Guardians of Degannwy
* The Vanguard Initiative
* The Bloodhounds
* The Mistraiders
* The Red Academy of Hazlan
* Outside the Lines Circle
* The Withering Circle
* The Order of the Long Death
* The Ratters of Vallaki
* The Midnighters
* The Order of the Crow
* The Praesidia Iustitiae
* The Fivefold Circle

Malvado:
The Black Hand



The Organization Many adventurers attempted to pin down the Black Hand's arrival into the Core with poor results, some brighter and seasoned scholar date the appearance of this mysterious group in land of the mists somewhere between 760 and 764 BC. The group brings nothing but bad news and carries a tragic history of murders, dark omens and business ordinary men would rather die than meddle in. Oftentimes mistaken for a group of mindless fanatics, the followers of the Black Hand are far from that, the organization is said to shelter skilled soldiers in the art of war, shrewd diplomats, assassins and rumours of arcanists were often mentioned. It is through honest confrontation of words and the that this group bases on its activities and influence, The Black Hand's reach favors many subtle ways of obtaining numbers and connections, from the most raw approach of torturing, threatening and subtle espionage to the brighter and gentle ways of oratory. The information surrounding this group is always uncertain, their goals  guessed one too many times, but no one really had a clear picture of what final achievement the group was striding for. The Black Hand has a somewhat sporadic activity, the black cloaks populate the land of the mists only when the Commander orders them to, and usually, in the mind of a commoner the sight of the of the Black Hand would automatically hint trouble and strife ahead . Well equipped and populated by by people who understand the need for order, this combination of qualities makes the Black Hand a more credible threat than any of other evil or chaotic forces, despite their willingness to sacrifice themselves in a frenzy of killings, the rare sightings of this group made clear that duress and control was a requirment, and unbridled chaos, despised. Domination is preferred to debauchery, and carefully limited discord to stability. Cruelty, torture, and mayhem are tacitly encouraged.

The early years of The Black Hand took shape of a cabal, worshipping a pantheon formed of predominantly Evil Gods, with a strong accent on Bane. However, it became clear in the Hand's strikes the following years that the group is far from shackling themselves to a God, and took shape of a military organized group. The sporadic sightings of the group has led people to believe they were involved in the Barovian's nights and underground, braver ones even stretched to the point of affiliating the higher peers of the Hand to notorious vampire families, although the rumour was, of course, never verified.



Nemesis 24:
The Vigil.

Once, the Vigil represented something else than what it does now.  A more aggressive force, it has been tempered with time, and circumstance.  Something quieter, more subdued than it once was.

In the unrelenting darkness of Ravenloft, the night is ruled by evil unchecked.  The world is corrupted, and falling, and each night the living are hunted, pursued, and preyed upon.  Nightmares given flesh, horrors given form, and deaths beyond counting.  A dying land, perhaps even a dead land that has not yet realised its own passing.  Struggles ephemeral and vital, of evil against evil, and the innocent and the helpless are made to pay the awful price.

And yet, there are many who fight.  Some better, and harder than others, heroes and villains in their own right.  But there are others, who must not only fight the darkness, but must learn to deny it, even in themselves.

These people are outsiders, more so than most.  They are the embodiment of the purity of purpose and self that is anathema to those that embrace the darkness.  They are both judgement and guidance, and a shining light in the overwhelming shadow.  Driven by their sense of righteousness and the call of the divine, they are those who walk the night without fear, for they do not doubt the rightness of their cause.

However, they also must do so in secret.  They must do so without their enemy knowing who they are or where they are, their path one that weaves between others.  They observe.  They learn.  They study.  And when the time is right and the enemy is known beyond doubt, they strike with the fury of the righteous and once more vanish.  They are the warriors of the Vigil, and though they seek to make the world a better, brighter place, they must do so without the foe knowing who they are, or how to find them.

The Vigil consists of those united by two traits.  The desire to make the world a better place, to better themselves in doing so, and having no place that they can safely call home.      They have, however, decided that it is time to found one of their own, and thus have done so.  Taking a home for themselves in an isolated location, the Vigil works to train, to teach, and above all to offer sanctuary to those who have need of it, imparting knowledge, wisdom and guidance, as well as divine assistance when needed.  They seek those without home or needing hope, and offer them something more.
Alignments - Good aligned, or those seeking to move from neutral to good.  The Vigil offers not just purpose but also redemption to those who truly seek it.

Race - All races are welcome.  Caliban and other outcasts of a good nature who are yet unable to be accepted are most assuredly welcome, always.

Classes - Paladin, monk, cleric are encouraged, but all are welcome (save for clearly evil, such as assassin or blackguard).  Divine champion training is also more than possible.

Ranks/Structure - There is at present a Commander, and shall soon also be a Captain of the Watch, Chaplain, Apothecary, Quartermaster and Lead Scout.  Each of these roles are suitable for the location that the Vigil is based out of, and keeps the participants quite busy indeed.

Role - The purpose of this organisation is less militaristic that it appears.  While it has a heavy martial approach, it is not an attempt to create an army.  The goal is to create a sanctuary, offering safety, understanding, training, and companionship.  Many outlanders (and not a few natives) are in a difficult situation in Ravenloft, with no place to truly belong.  Some turn to more nefarious means to survive.  The Vigil offers an alternative to that, while also dealing with the many threats that individuals can face, by offering both protection against them as well as training to overcome them.

Getting Involved - Try to do so in character!  Otherwise, try to nudge me in game and we'll see what we can do - look for Zachary Dalensbane.  We have a running Discord chat for people to be invited to and a significant number of members at present, growing steadily.  This is the second attempt at this group, with a few caveats for changes.  So far it seems to be doing quite well, and you are more than welcome to join in.


UPDATE 6/9/2018 - While this faction exists in some capacity yet, and may be reinvigorated in the future, with the leader Zachary now closured it can be considered inactive, until another wishes to take the reigns of it.

Sinful Mystic:
The Guardians of Degannwy

Those Elves that have chosen to call Degannwy home and follow the leadership of the Marquessa Lorelei have banded together with the common goals of ensuring Degannwy and her forest's safety, the aid and protection of their people and the furtherance of Elven culture. Due to the xenophobic nature of Barovia the Guardians are a discreet organization rarely openly discussing their existence, activities or structure with outsiders. Still, they are not without ties to other organizations on the side of light.

Alignments: Any non evil

Races: Elves, half-elves

Classes: Any but Assassin, Pale Master and Blackguard

Ranks and structure: The Guardians are lead by a Democratically elected leader, the Warden of Degannwy. A Council of Elders holds the power to call new elections if there is concern about the current Warden or they must be replaced due to death or retirement. Commanders exist for both the Home Guard and Scout arms of the Organization.

Role: The Guardians are multi dimensional. They serve as a casual militia, a cultural promotion group, a welcoming committee to new Elves and agents against the dark forces that are a danger to the land.

Getting involved: Any Elven character that spends time in Degannwy will quickly learn about the Guardians. If you are having trouble connecting with the leadership a PM can be sent to:

 Mishandra (Sinful Mystic)
 Emilia (Iluvatar)
 Tinu Naur (AgentGibbs)

Forum:  http://degannwy.freeforums.net/
Discord Channel: If you feel you are seriously involved in Degannwy activity and wish to be invited to our discord channel contact Sinful Mystic

Tycat:
Spoiler: temporarily inactive • show[center][/center]
Our Mission...

To Reach out and defend the defenseless, feed the hungry, clothe the cold, and nurture the sick. To guide new arrivals from the Mists and teach them to survive these harsh and difficult lands as their new home. To be the front line, torches ablaze, a salvation army of humanity and hope. Come ye wretched, downtrodden, and lost, and let us, together, keep the wolves at bay.

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Membership

Inclusive. Anyone can be come a member if they pass three tasks. There is no limitation of creed, origin, race, or able-bodiness, only that you mean no harm to others.

Ranks/Structures: Volunteer (initiate non member), Partner (Trusted non member), Squire (Initiate Member), Warden (Full member), Ambassador (Officer.)

Alignments: Anything goes. Lawful, Good, Neutral. Chaotic to be considered IC (shouldn't be an issue in most cases) however the Vanguard will be expected to work with the Garda and Laws of Vallaki, and as subjects of Barovia.

Race: Any, although Orcs and Caliban will be needing to follow special concessions to stay within the law.

Class: Any, barring only: (known) Shadow Dancers, (known) Assassins, and (Known or even suspected) Blackguards.

Level: All levels, low and mid levels are most common. This is an RP focused group, and power has very little to do with it. There is also a lot of opportunities to apprentice in trades and fields, such as healing, herbalism, and carpentry.

Uniform/Identifying markers: Bearing a Silver Torch worn like a sword on the hip, Gray Cloaks with darker gray lining.
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How to Get Involved

You do not have to join the faction to participate or interact with us.

Location: Vallaki.

Joining: Seek out Lexington Gray of Havenshire (Tycat) (or join our Discord)

Utilizing Services: Be a new character, or even a new player, who is fresh out of the mists and needs guidance; Be a commoner who is poor, sick, or homeless who needs welfare; Have an injury or an affliction (disease, curse, etc.) that needs healing (and you are up for long RP healing, or a quick heal.)

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Purpose

Integration and Inclusiveness.

Key Themes: Apprenticeship of Crafts, Charity, Peace Ambassadors, Goodwill, Hospital and Healer Training, non-violence.

Role: Integration into the setting, a welcoming party to new arrivals to help them start out (including quests, crafting, and direction), a guarenteed foot in the door with people to RP with, who are actively seeking you out to be there for your character while they get established in the setting.

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